Can one enjoy lunch with friends on the Internet? Michele and I have a friend, Ernie De Salvo who lives in NJ that we travel with often. In fact, we were with him in Naples and Rome for a month in February and March. He is a wine collector and an excellent cook, so we decided that even though we can’t get together in person, we could enjoy lunch and conversation via the internet.
We began our lunch with an appetizer of Tuscan style chicken liver pate which we ate with crackers. Michele made it with garlic, capers, anchovies, and herbs. It was very savory and rich but unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of it. Too busy eating.
Our main course was chicken in a mustard sauce which we enjoyed with some simple roasted asparagus. The asparagus in the photo are in a special asparagus serving bowl that we bought many years ago in Florence.
Mustard Chicken, made with shallots, herbs, white wine and a delicious mustard we bought in Burgundy last year.
To drink, Michele and I had:
Chinon “Les Picasses” 1985 (Loire) Olga Raffault” Made from 100% Cabernet Franc. The soil is limestone and clay. The mid slope vines are at least 50 years old and are worked organically and harvested by hand.
The fruit is destemmed and whole uncrushed berries are fermented with indigenous yeast in stainless steel tanks. Fermentation and maceration lasts for 25 to 30 days depending on the vintage. The wine is aged for 2 to 3 years in oak and chestnut foudres of 30 to 50 HL. There is more aging in tank and bottle before release for about four years. This is a full bodied, structured and complex wine with hints of cherry, red and dark berries, a hint of smoke and a touch of meatiness
While we enjoyed the above, Ernie was having the following:
For an antipasto, Parmigiano Reggiano, Finocchiona (fennel flavored salami) fatto in casa di Rosario, Pane e Olio.
This pasta is our friend’s personal concoction of traditional orecchiette, broccoli rabe, with garlic of course, combined with plenty of fried ground pork sausage meat. When it is all combined with a touch of peperoncino and plenty of grated Pecorino Romano, this pasta is to die for. The last are his words. He promises to make it for me when we can get together again..
Barolo “Cannubi” 1995 made from 100% Nebbiolo Prunotto Good color, classic Barolo nose of leather, tobacco, still dark cherry fruit. Tannins resolved but enough present to allow for more age. Wine paired well with orecchiette, broccoli rabe and sausage with plenty of pecorino grattugiato.
Though we couldn’t share our meals and wine, it was fun talking, laughing, and sharing our concerns on this strange predicament that we are all in. For now, our internet lunches will have to do.